A wannabe assassin paints a target on himself.

                Nicholas Booth lived with his cat Antix in a small, squalid, stinkhole of an apartment. He made
some decent money from his job as a mechanic, but cars were the only things he cared to fix up.
Nevertheless, he always felt that he should be doing a lot a better and that it was due to something
other than himself.

                One night, he turned on the TV to see the mayor giving a speech from town hall. He was
addressing the economic troubles and a new incentive program which would reward those who trained
new workers. As Booth watched and listened, it suddenly became clear to him what he needed to do:
kill the mayor.

                Yeah, that was it. Who else could possibly be so much at fault for his second-rate life, if not
himself? So he quit his job cold turkey, withdrew some cash from the bank, and committed all his free
time to his new master plan.

                His first stop was to the library. He needed to read up all he could on all the great assassinations
in history, as well as a couple Frederick Forsyth novels. But he realized – more out of paranoia rather
than sheer common sense – that his check-outs would have to be registered in the computer and lead
the police right to him. So he snuck the books out.

                He also had to do plenty of internet research, which meant looking at the external links on
Wikipedia too. This as well was all done from the library, though he managed to avoid paying for his

                Next he needed to do some scouting at town hall. Disguised as a janitor (really just his mechanic
uniform, but no one knew the difference), he was there at night when most of the building was empty.
Soon he knew the layout and had a few choice attack positions picked. He was so convincing that he
even managed to persuade a real janitor there to let him borrow the keys to make his own copies.

                For optimal preparation, he brought all his books, binders collecting his papers, and papersvnot
in binders to the desk in his room. Opposite the desk was his drawing board, where a diagram of town
hall’s interior that he drew from memory was posted, right next a picture of the mayor.

                And then came time for the gun. A close-range weapon wouldn’t do, he knew at least that
much. But they didn’t sell sniper rifles at the local arms store. Or did they?

                On a whim, he went there and as it turns out, he didn’t have to even step in. A shady man
loitering outside the store instantly struck up a conversation with him and then took the prospective
customer to the parking garage where his dark blue van full of merchandise was. The budding jackal
made his purchase of several pieces that formed a sniper rifle, some ammo, and a nifty briefcase in
which to carry it all.

                He assembled it back home in his room. Loading it up, he turned from his desk to the board and
aimed it towards the target. The twisted giddiness wearing off, he put the rifle down on the binder next
to him and got up to the board to draw out a plan of attack.

                Just then Antix traipsed into the room looking for some exercise. She jumped up onto the chair;
so far, so good. Then she jumped onto the desk; not so good, not for her master.

                The rifle was resting on the binder at an incline that aligned it perfectly with the back of his
head. And when Antix leaped to the desk, her forepaws landed on the trigger and fired the shot. The
bullet tore through his brain and into the board, at a spot considerably away from the mayor’s mug.

                And so the day ended belonging not to the jackal, but to the cat.

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